“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Hebrews 13:5, ESV)
I read a story about a woman who was married to a man who loved money more than anything else. The man had amassed and horded a great amount and left instructions for his wife to bury him with all his money when he died. At the funeral, she fulfilled his request. What she did was quite interesting. She transferred all the money that he had accumulated in his life to her checking account. Then she wrote him a check for the total amount and put it in the casket with him before the burial.
Many people are in love with money and things. To love and serve money and possessions to this extent is an act of worship. Everybody worships something and the worship of stuff is akin to idolatry. When we worship stuff, we are not worshipping God. Earlier in the text, we read that since we have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken, we must “offer to God acceptable worship” (Heb 12:28). This is our reasonable act of service (Rom 12:1). We cannot permit the ways of the world system to lure us away from our greatest occupation of worshiping God.
What is our message when we worship the stuff rather than God? There are several thoughts here. First, we commit idolatry in that we have turned the stuff into a god that we worship. This is evidenced by our devotion to the stuff. Second, our devotion to money and things is seen by outside observers, which glorifies things rather than God who deserves all the glory. Third, as the author points out, it denies the presence of the Lord in our lives as our provider and our helper (v6). Fourth, this devotion to money and things causes us to fall short of the biblical exhortation to be generous (1 Tim 6:17-19). Fifth, this problem causes one to lose eternal blessings (Matt 6:20). Sixth, the love of money is a snare that will lead us on a dangerous path (1 Tim 6:9). Overall, the love of money and things destroys our witness for the Lord.
Our spiritual act of worship, means that we sacrifice of our own fleshly wants and desires for the purpose of glorifying God. He alone is worthy of our heart’s devotion and worship. This is a proper response of true faith. By faith we trust in God’s sovereignty and that He watches over us and provides for us all that we need. Furthermore, God blesses us with all good things even beyond the bare essentials. The Lord is Jehovah Jireh, my provider who’s grace is sufficient for me.